[youtube id="nK4P0VQzVtE"]Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy is one of the most famous local cartoonists amongst the youth. His cartoons have been printed in almost all the big news outlets in Bangladesh. He professionally started out with the craft right after high school. Now, Tanmoy's name is synonymous with cartoonist. Along with his numerous projects, his most recent one, a web show, caught our attention. The show is a first of its kind in Bangladesh. It has a very hip presentation and gives drawing tutorials in a comical fashion. Showtime sat down with the talented artist this week.
Traditionally speaking, an established artist like you usually does shows on television. But why did you start a web show at this point of your career?
You see, things are changing with time. And I believe that social media has better reach than any other news outlets. I have personally experimented with it. From my experience, my cartoons were more genuinely circulated amongst the youth on Facebook than it was on any other magazines. It is true that newspapers are still widely read, but people who genuinely like cartoons are youngsters who prefer to browse through the Internet, rather than read a magazine. I was very overwhelmed by the response on my Facebook page, Tanmoy Cartoon. From that reception I figured that there are a lot of people who would like learn about cartoons, and hence, I took the initiative to make this show, with the help of my peers and well wishers.
What do you expect to accomplish from the show? Is it all for fun?
Of course, I expect to have fun with this show, but I do have some things I want to accomplish from it. And that comes from a very personal place, from the bottom of my heart. Almost every other kid in middle school used to paint, draw and doodle, then after a certain period, they stopped. This is not because of the lack of talent. It is because they don't have proper platforms. Keep in mind that art is a very interactive thing. But most of these kids stop because they don't have any places to turn to. In Bangladesh, there are many institutions where they have courses on fine art, but none of them are dedicated towards cartoons, comics or illustrations. These crafts are being criminally overlooked in our country from an academic perspective. So, I took the initiative of creating a community with my fellow art enthusiasts. It is called Cartoon People. We are trying to make it more interactive. This show is part of that community. We are aiming to make our crafts be taken seriously by our institutes. We have taken our activities online so we can have more people involved. Our show will hopefully reach young people. I hope they engage. We have made it in such a way, that they can see the episodes on their phones. Each episode is short, so that they can watch despite having a short attention span.
Is the lack of an established institution the only thing that contributes to the low number of artists in our country?
It is not the sole factor, but a major one. There are other social reasons, which contributed to this situation. Most of these social issues are economical. You see, when a kid from class 3 or 4 win an art competition, their parents proudly accept it. But when they go to more advanced classes in school, their parents tell them to stop. Not because they don't like cartoons, it's because our parents feel that their kids won't be able to put food on their tables and a roof over their heads by making cartoons. Therefore, it seems that many young talents feel demotivated. And the kids feel even more bummed out because they find it hard to get their cartoons out, and of course, they find it hard to make it lucrative. We still don't have a Walt Disney or a Stan Lee in our country, but we will. In order for that to happen, we need to organically grow a community and that is my first priority at the moment.
Check out his Youtube channel at- https://www.youtube.com/c/cartoonpeoplebd